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The 2nd London General Hospital, Chelsea
The 2nd London General Hospital, Chelsea was located at St Mark's College at 552 King's Road, Chelsea and the adjoining LCC secondary school, it provided 66 Officer beds and 995 Other Ranks beds. It opened in September 1914, staffed by a Commanding Officer, Registrar, Quartermaster and six Lieutenants of the Royal Army Medical Corps. Consultancy was provided by staff from the London Hospitals, including Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals.
St Marks College building had wards on two floors, with female nurses' accommodation on the third floor and the kitchens in the basement. Male medical personnel were housed in a detached building. A section of wall was removed between the college and the school to link the two parts of the hospital.
The school building was converted into wards for surgical cases, the smaller rooms became wards for serious cases or officers with 4 or 5 beds in each. The operating theatre was also installed with in the school.
To allow direct access for patients brought in on ambulance trains, a section of wall was demolished to make an entrance onto the platform at Chelsea station.
Two hundred additional beds of the 2nd London General Hospital were established at St Thomas' Hospital and a further 40 at the Great Northern Hospital in Holloway, use of a private motor car was donated by a local lady to ease the problem of medical staff travelling between the hospitals.
The first patients troops who had been injured during training in England, but by the end of September 1914, men were arriving from from the Western front. The patients mostly arrived in a terrible condition, their clothes stiff with mud and blood from wounds, which were often septic. The wounds were mainly caused by shrapnel to the upper extremities.
By January of 1915 the Hospital had received 22 patients who had been blinded and The War Office decided that hospitals should specialize in their treatment of the wounded and in future all patients with eye injuries would be sent to the 2nd London General Hospital or to the 3rd London General, if no beds were available at the 2nd. Staff from St Dunstan's Hostel for Blinded Soldiers and Sailors, visited daily to help the newly blind to cope with the depression that inevitably accompanied the first moments of a lifetime of blindness.
In May 1915 all Territorial General Hospitals were required to establish Neurological Sections, for the treatment of patients with shell shock or neurasthenia.
The 2nd London General Hospital closed in 1919 and the buildings were put back to their orignial use.
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This website has been running for 16 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.
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Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted.
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Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 230777 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.
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List of those who served at the 2nd London General Hospital, Chelsea during The Great War
- WO1 Walter Charles Maidlow Royal Army Medical Corps. Read thier Story.
List of those who were treated at the 2nd London General Hospital, Chelsea during The Great War
WO1 Walter Charles Maidlow Royal Army Medical Corps.
Sergeant Major Walter Charles Maidlow RAMC, was treated for Chronic Bronchitis at the 2nd Eastern General Hospital in Brighton. Exact date is not known but he was serving as a WO1 RAMC in the 2nd London General Chelsea in December 1916 when he contracted the disease. He was discharged from the Army on 31st March 1919. He had served with the RAMC in India between 1914 and 1916, also serving on three Hospital Ships. The Dunvegan, The Varsova and finally the H.S. Neuralia. I am still writing Walter’s story.Ivor Williams
Pte. Charles Clarke 2nd Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps
I have been researching my family history for a number of years including my grandfather’s career, Private Charles Clarke (10424) in the 2nd Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps in the Great War.
He had enlisted in January 1912 and served until wounded then was discharged in February 1917. The family’s understanding of his discharge was that he was wounded and blinded in a gas attack in France sometime before February 1917 and we believe sent home to England recover at the 2nd London General Hospital. I am unsure if his medical records or presence is listed at that time?
There is a family story that one night during a zeppelin or Gotha raid, presumably in London 1917, and an incendiary landed near him while being taken down to a shelter and the blast bought his sight back. It would be good if we knew where he was treated and how long was he in hospital for and any other information you may have on archive if indeed you have any? Is he for example on any casualty list for treatment at St Marks College or St Thomas's which I believe to be the 2nd London General Hospitals?Mike Mason
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